By: Sean Crose
Throughout a career that lasted over 25 years, Floyd Mayweather was known for being cool under fire. Rarely ever rattled in the ring, Mayweather proved during the handful of moments he was actually challenged that he could deal with the pressure. Check out his ’09 fight with Shane Mosely if further proof is needed. Veteran star Mosely nailed Mayweather early on, making it seem for a flash that Mayweather might, might have met his match. It didn’t happen. By the following round the cooly resolved Mayweather was back in control, and remained so for the rest of the one-sided match.
Yet Mayweather finally cracked this past weekend. Not in the ring. Not during one of life’s more difficult situations. No, it took an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame to get Mayweather to buckle to emotion. During Sunday’s official ceremony, new inductee Mayweather actually became emotional before talking about the moment and the impact boxing has had on him. Never, as far as this writer knows, has Mayweather left his guard down in such fashion, neither literally nor figuratively.
“I done a lot in my career,” Mayweather stated, “but this is by far the best.” That was quite a statement for a man who literally changed the fight game. Aside from retiring in 2017 with a record of 50 wins and no losses, Mayweather throughout his career won titles in numerous weight divisions, reigned as the pound for pound best fighter on earth, and became not only the biggest pay per view draw on the planet, but the highest paid athlete in the world, as well. His 2015 bout with Manny Pacquiao is still the highest grossing fight in combat sports history.
“I want to thank the International Boxing Hall of Fame for giving me this,” he continued. “This right here is going to my dad because he deserves it. Bernard Hopkins said it best — ‘You’ve got to earn it.’ — and my dad earned this ring.” Mayweather also went out of his way to credit his mother and siblings for his success.
Throughout his long career, Mayweather was known for taking pride in the massive sums of money he earned as well as his lavish lifestyle. In fact, Mayweather’s name during the second half of his career was a single word: “Money.” On Sunday, however, Mayweather let the world know his love of boxing transcended paydays. “It did not matter how much money they paid me,” he said. “I would have done it for free. I love the sport of boxing.”
“I said that I wouldn’t cry,” Mayweather stated. “This is unbelievable. This is one of the best days of my life.”
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